Easter Footy is great time of year, 5 days in a row with a game on and a fantastic time to get involved in Draftstars Daily Fantasy AFL contests.
Saturday brings a 4-game contest with a Saints side looking to go 4-0 and a Swans/Port side looking to rectify last weeks loses. Draftstars Veteran ‘Tbetta’ has had a hot start to the year and is back for another edition of Stargazing.
$75,000 Main ($15 entry, 125 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,500 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)
ADE vs FREM – Fine.
RICH vs WBD – Showers.
STK vs GCS – Roof.
SYD vs PORT – Fine.
We’re spoilt for basement-priced options in the forward line, so let’s talk them through. Bailey Humphrey ($6,000 MID/FWD) will make his debut against the Saints, with the #6 pick overall doing enough in the VFL to warrant promotion. He averaged a clean 100 in the 2022 NAB League, but has scored just 43 and 74 in the Reserves this year so – despite the salary cap hype – I wouldn’t go too hard on his exposures. Robbie McComb ($6,000 FWD) had a couple of spikes when receiving wing time last year, while Dylan Williams ($6,000 FWD) is an unknown with a new defensive role.
Bailey Humphrey might go ok 😳pic.twitter.com/85BLiEMxNJ
— Paddy Grindlay (@pad_nauseum) April 2, 2023
Speaking of role changes, Jason Johannisen ($7,850 FWD/DEF) projects much better as a defender than a small forward. Sam Switkowski ($10,010 FWD) gave Fremantle a much-needed midfield spark over their last 5 quarters of footy and runs into a leaky Crows outfit after pumping out a 104.
Outside of the swingman Liam Baker, the top-priced forwards don’t fill me with a lot of confidence. This is shaping as a line where I’ll be primarily hunting value, which will allow me to afford ceiling-type players in other positions.
Ryan Byrnes ($9,620 MID) has shown a ceiling this year with scores of 94 and 98 amongst his three attempts, but the price-tag is starting to creep up a bit. I like him as the salary-saving anchor in St Kilda stacks. I was surprised to see Josh Rachele ($10,520 MID) was a midfielder only on Draftstars, but the CBA bump to 53% in the Showdown justifies it. I have some interest with a lot of on ball Crows missing, and the same goes for Jake Soligo and Rory Sloane darts in the same price range.
There are plenty of under-priced options available to rest your hat on, with Chad Warner, James Aish and Jacob Hopper all sitting around the $13k mark. Then, if you move up a tax bracket, you have Caleb Serong, Seb Ross and Adam Treloar getting smashed full of CBAs. He might have let us down with a middling 90 in the Derby last week, but I’m all aboard an Andrew Brayshaw ($16,220 MID) bounce back in Round 4 – his last few scores against Adelaide reads 133, 111 and 120.
Last week was a step forward, but Andrew Brayshaw knows there’s plenty to work on as we turn our focus to the Crows #foreverfreo
— Fremantle Dockers (@freodockers) April 4, 2023
He’s cost me my sanity and many grey hairs over the years in DFS, but Chayce Jones ($6,860 DEF) scored well when activated in the Showdown and could be looking at a wing role in a full game. Not for the faint of heart. His teammate Mitchell Hinge ($9,700 DEF) was one of the pawns moved around in the Jordan Dawson midfield shuffle and he definitely enjoyed some more seniority in defence with a score of 86.
SHOWDOWN 53: CHAYCE JONES
Showed his intent the moment he stepped on the field on Saturday night. Still room for improvement (decision-making & skill execution), but when he gets it right, he’s explosive and straight-lines the ball with violent purpose.#weflyasone
— Vardy Magic (@VardyMagic) April 4, 2023
The Suns have some well-priced options in a strong match-up with the Saints, with Lachie Weller ($12,780 DEF) the headline option with the kick-in duties on lock since his return. He’s in a pack of players who seem to be turning around some poor early-season form, with Dan Houston ($12,090 DEF) and Bailey Dale ($11,580 DEF) back to regular programming with scores up around 90 in Round 3. Jack Sinclair is my favourite spend-up option in defence this week now that his price has plateaued at roughly $14k, on top of a hybrid midfield/half back role that should pay dividends against the shaky Suns under the Marvel mat.
Reilly O’Brien ($14,400 RUC) is giving mullets a run for their money in terms of being associated with 90’s, but he walks into a brutal Darcy/Jackson combo this weekend and can be easily overlooked on a four-game slate. The DvP algorithm suggests we should look at Swans rucks with a romantic Port Adelaide date planned, which frames Peter Ladhams ($10,670 RUC) into focus. He’s scored between 68 and 78 in all three games so far this year, but a stoppage-heavy game at the SCG would help him break through that glass ceiling.
If you’re looking for a bit more safety, I would feel comfortable banking on the Toby Nankervis ($14,190 RUC) ton-run to continue. He comes up against Tim English who is scoring freely offensively but has never been an oppressive type – he’s conceded scores of 113 (Gawn), 116 (Marshall) and 81 (McInerney) so far this season.
Zak Butters ($11,860 MID/FWD)
Zak’s price is low enough that we need to start seriously considering the Port youngster in preparation for an inevitable bounce back, but I’m not sure this week’s the week. After a modest 37% CBA’s over the first fortnight was slashed to an alarming 12% in the Showdown, combined with one of the roughest match-ups in Sydney in their own backyard upcoming, I’m leaving him to be someone else’s headache.
Jack Macrae & Bailey Smith
Continuing the negative CBA trend are a couple of players I’ve been really hot on this season, but Bevo doesn’t agree – and sadly, it’s his opinion that ultimately matters. It was a case of Dog eats Dogs with Adam Treloar returning to the side in Round 3 and immediately soaking up 80% centre bounce action, which is easily his most as a Bulldog. The victims going the other way were the men in the subheading above in Jack Macrae (40%, last year averaged 64%) and Bailey Smith (5%, last year 54%), which are brutal KPIs for two players that have historically relied on being involved in the contest to score. I’ve cooled right off on this pair until the Doggies cop a midfield injury, or Bevo backflips back in their favour.
Swans vs Port
It’s the clash of the scrappers, with the Swans and Power conceding easily the least fantasy points of all clubs over the past 10 regular season games. It’s not hard to see why either; they’re 15th and 18th for uncontested possessions conceded, as well as 17th and 18th for marks conceded. On the tiny SCG, I can’t see either of these stats reversing the trend, making this game a prime fade candidate.
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so while the calf injury was garbage news for Jayden Short, it’s been an absolute goldmine for Liam Baker. Along with Daniel Rioli, Baker has now been bumped up to primary distributor status and we’ve seen that result in scores of 100 & 110 over the past fortnight. While the defender DvP is juicy enough on Saturday afternoon, it’s the extra week on the sidelines for Short that has me interested in Baker again – Short posted scores of 105 and 125 in his last two against the Doggies.
The backline boost is very real for teams against the Bulldogs, so I’ll be taking a long look at Nick Vlastuin for a possible bump. In a vacuum his $12,270 salary is probably too high for a player who has averaged 71 this year, but the 17 kick-ins over the past fortnight is a great KPI against the side with the 3rd-worst goalkicking accuracy so far in 2023.
Mills’s Midfield Minutes
I needed to see something from Horse Longmire to start considering Callum Mills at a premium price, and the Sydney coach has just done that with a doubling of inside midfield time for the reigning Bob Skilton Medallist. Port is usually a tough match-up, but for whatever reason Mills has been insulated from that, boasting last three scores of 100, 111 and 116 against the Power. I’m going to back in the DvP here and stay mostly away from him this week, but I’m also going to keep a close eye on him for Round 4’s clash with the less oppressive Tigers.
St Kilda – MIDs & DEFs Stack
It feels weird to say after they just knocked off the reigning Premiers, but the Suns are once again not looking too flash-hot, and I’d argue they were a Jack Lukosius superman cape away from a 0-3 start. Either way, they’ve lost the fantasy battle in every game so far this season so I’m happy to back in the unbeaten Saints on their hallowed turf and stack them accordingly. The DvP matrix says to target midfielders and defensive distributors so there are plenty of options to choose from.
Gold Coast – DEF Stack
On the flipside, St Kilda is still rolling with barely even the echo of a forward line, so you have to be open to cashing in on that. I’ll be looking closely at the obvious Lachie Weller/Wil Powell/Darcy MacPherson combinations, but I also like the cheaper Sam Collins and even Charlie Ballard for mark-heavy upswings. Mac Andrew had 13 marks in the VFL and comes in at roughly $7k, but who knows what that role translates to at senior level.
Fremantle – MIDs Stack
Adelaide are rolling with a skeleton crew in the guts with Matt Crouch and Harry Schoenberg overlooked again, Sam Berry rested for a week and Rory Sloane swiping his pensioners card up and down the wing. Head-to-head, this is great news for Fremantle onballers after finding some much-needed balance last week. 6 of the top 7 line-ups including James Aish last Sunday so he’ll again attract DFS attention, while the midfield rotations of Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong are always secure.
In a parallel universe:
- Jordan Dawson CBA’s translate to more fantasy goodness like 95% of footballers on the earth, rather than the oxymoron of a season-low in a BOG performance…
- Noah Anderson continued his career trajectory and took his game to an elite level. On this planet though, he’s averaging just 78 and honestly doesn’t look like himself. He’s $13,260 and dropping, so now it’s our job to pluck out which week he bounces back…
- Ben Keays steps back into the midfield with all the personnel missing and blows his $12,750 price-tag out of the water…
- Somebody wins the GPP with a dirt-cheap ruck like Levi Casboult or Zaine Cordy randomly upswinging…
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